Our long national nightmare is over. Jim Harbaugh has a new job.
I hesitated to post this Monday night because Harbaugh can be, at times, mercurial. Both Detroit newspapers reported that Harbaugh signed the contract on Monday night, but with NFL teams — most notably Oakland — trying to keep him in the NFL, I felt it best to wait until the press conference on Tuesday.
So here we are. Michigan has their “Michigan Man.” Harbaugh will get a reported $5 million over seven years, a little less than earlier reports. The press conference was Tuesday morning.
Harbaugh is a great hire for Michigan. Aside from his obvious Michigan connections — he played quarterback for Big Blue in the 1980s — he’s won everywhere he’s been as a head coach. He led San Diego in FCS to a pair of 11-win seasons at a school that didn’t offer scholarships. He moved to Stanford where he led the Cardinal back to national prominence and an Orange Bowl berth. During his four years with the San Francisco 49ers he led them to three straight NFC title games and one Super Bowl appearance.
The only downside I see is that it’s likely Harbaugh will leave at some point. This isn’t a stepping stone job, but he seems like one of those guys who lives for the challenge. His shelf life has been four years thus far. Maybe he lasts longer at a place that already worships him. But we’ll see. There’s little doubt in my mind that Michigan will get turned around fast under Harbaugh. Recruits are likely already lined up. I would expect the Wolverines to be a bowl team in 2015 and a national contender in 2016.
With Harbaugh’s hiring the 2015 FBS coaching carousel is, for now, stopped. Unbelievably, only 14 jobs have changed so far, but the NFL is about to start its coaching carousel season, so it’s best to say this is a break.
2015 FBS COACHING CAROUSEL
|Buffalo||Jeff Quinn||Lance Leipold|
|Colorado State||Jim McElwain||Mike Bobo|
|Florida||Will Muschamp||Jim McElwain|
|Houston||Tony Levine||Tom Herman|
|Kansas||Charlie Weis||David Beaty|
|Michigan||Brady Hoke||Jim Harbaugh|
|Nebraska||Bo Pelini||Mike Riley|
|Oregon State||Mike Riley||Gary Andersen|
|Pittsburgh||Paul Chryst||Pat Narduzzi|
|SMU||June Jones||Chad Morris|
|Troy||Larry Blakeney||Neal Brown|
|Tulsa||Bill Blankenship||Philip Montgomery|
|UNLV||Bobby Hauck||Tony Sanchez|
|Wisconsin||Gary Andersen||Paul Chryst|